Mind Body Medicine

As far as possible I try to incorporate mind-body interventions in my treatment plan. This is because all the latest research in the fields of neuropsychology, neurobiology, and psychoneuroimmunology shows that the so-called mind-body distinction appears to be a fictitious dichotomy. The act of perception and cognition is a synergistic process of the human organism as a whole, involving the neurological, immunological, endocrine, and the neuromuscular systems. So, "mind" is inextricably linked with brain and vice-versa.

This was essentially what I learned through all my years in medicine in general, and psychiatry in particular. Many of the symptoms described as "psychological" symptoms are actually physical symptoms or are manifested physically. At a very basic level, the stress reponse that gives rise to manifold modern physical and psychiatric ailments is the mind in hyper-drive. It releases all kinds of stress hormones that constrict blood vessels, raise blood pressure, increase blood sugar, damage the heart and decrease the mind-body's natural immunity and resilience.

As such, learning to use mindfulness meditation, breath focused meditation, mantra meditation, deep breathing and other techniques as a way of eliciting the relaxation response makes empirical and common sense. In addition to medications and surgery, psychotherapy and mind body interventions thus complete the three legged stool of modern, holistic medicine.

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